Get The Most Out Of Your Band Rehearsal
Playing in a band teaches musicians a lot of valuable skills, such as collaboration and how to compose music with multiple instruments and sounds.
However, getting band members together, regularly, in one space can be tough, particularly if there are a lot of you with different schedules.
Whether you're part of a professional band or just play with friends in your spare time, it's important that you're organised and committed to making the most out of your precious rehearsal time.
Below, we'll outline some popular music rehearsal techniques which should help you fine tune your band's sound.
To hone your skills as a band, producer, DJ or dancer, book a Pirate.com studio in the UK, US or Germany now.
Find A Rehearsal Room
If you want to get your band off the ground and start playing live shows, you'll need to find a practice space.
When it comes to choosing a place for bands to practice, there are several options. You, your bandmates or a kind neighbour might have a garage or shed you can use, but it's likely that you'll need to rent a music rehearsal space.
Renting a music rehearsal space comes with many benefits such as access to equipment you don't own and soundproofing. Plus, you won't have to worry about disturbing your neighbours.
When you book a rehearsal studio at Pirate.com, you also get access to free and convenient car parking, high-speed Wi-Fi, kitchen facilities and vending machines. Furthermore, Pirate is open 24/7 and it's the cheapest solution on the market.
Renting a studio at Pirate means that you and your band can hone your skills and create your unique style in a professional location without paying through the nose.
Elect A Band Leader
It might sound obvious, but it's surprising how many bands don't define clear roles for each member. Much like any organisation, you'll need to make sure your band has someone in charge of keeping everything on track.
When choosing a lead member, you should make sure they're organised and have the necessary skills to communicate effectively.
All band members need to be happy with your choice of leader, so make sure you take a vote. If the choice is contentious, your new group head might struggle to get the cooperation of everyone in the band, so take the time to make sure everyone is happy with the decision.
With someone in place who everyone looks up to and feels comfortable with, the leader can then take on the task of managing group chats, organising rehearsals, booking the venue, setting the plan and ensuring that everyone sticks to it.
As your band achieves success and starts playing live gigs or recording songs, your band head might need to delegate some tasks. Whether you share your tasks among the band members or hire a professional band manager to help you focus on your music, your leader will still need to check that everything's done correctly.
Set Goals For Each Session
Without a plan for each rehearsal session, you'll just be playing music aimlessly. The plan doesn't need to be strict, your goal might be to play live gigs at your favourite venues or you might want to write and learn your own songs - your plan for each session should take you a little closer to that goal.
When you're planning your rehearsal, you should work out how much time you all have together and then plan it out so you use it wisely.
You should always allocate time at the beginning of your rehearsal to getting equipment ready. Then, you should work out how much time you want to spend creating new music versus practicing your existing set list. Remember to always leave room for mistakes.
At the end of the rehearsal, you should also leave time for a discussion between band members so you all have time to talk about the practice and explore any changes to the plan you might want to make in the future.
If you do find that your practice time runs over, Pirate has an easy to use live calendar, so you can easily see if your studio space is still available and add an extra hour to your booking. As you pay by the hour, you can book exactly as much time as you need to practice.
Check Your Instruments Before You Begin Your Rehearsal
Setting up your instruments isn't as simple as plugging them into an amp and playing. Any stringed instruments, such as guitars, will need tuning.
You'll also need to check that all instruments are functioning correctly, as they could have been damaged or shifted during transit from your band member's homes to the studio.
Preparing for practice takes time, particularly if you have a larger or more cumbersome instrument. Lifting a guitar out of its case and tuning it isn't too strenuous, but putting together an entire drum kit from scratch can be a bit of a mission.
Pirate's drum practice rooms contain a full drum kit, so if you're practicing with us, you won't have to lug your own drum kit across the city.
Discuss Practice Ideas Before You Leave The Studio
Communication and collaboration are both vital for a successful band practice, even after the rehearsal is over.
If any of you have suggestions or ideas, then you should voice them and see if, together, you can all improve your rehearsing and overall musical performance.
While your fellow band members are in the best position to discuss your rehearsals and the music you're creating, other musicians could also offer their help.
Professional musicians, session artists and DJs could advise on everything from rehearsal techniques to post-production editing - you should aim to collaborate as broadly as possible.
Building a network for your band is a challenge, but it's vital if you want to break into the professional music scene.
Share Feedback With Your Bandmates
Feedback doesn't have to be given in a formal setting, such as in the rehearsal studio. You could consider visiting a bar or grabbing some food after your practice session and discussing the songs you've rehearsed and how they could be improved.
Socialising outside of the studio will also improve your on-stage chemistry for your next live performance. Plus, the ideas you formulate in the pub might just make your next session in the writing rooms that little bit easier.
Remember You're Never Finished Learning
The music industry is constantly evolving, so you need to make sure that your band is too. That means learning new skills and constantly trying to enrich your group's knowledge.
As well as networking with others in the industry, you should read guides such as those available on the Pirate blog - we've got a whole category dedicated to music industry tips.
If members of your group are lacking essential music-making skills, it may be worth collectively investing time (and sometimes money) into improving them. Bringing everyone's skillsets up to scratch will save your band time and effort in the long run, so it's worth the investment now.
Some of the vital musical skills that most band members will need include:
- Reading music: Reading sheet music is a crucial skill for any musician, so if a member of your band is a little rusty, then you should consider helping them to improve their skills or sending them on a short course
- Identifying specific notes and instruments by ear: Being able to identify notes or instruments in a piece of music can allow your band members to identify any issues in your performance and to emulate other musicians
- Singing in tune: Even if they're not the lead singer, you might need your fellow bandmembers to provide backing vocals at some point, so they should all learn the basics of singing
- Post-production editing and mixing: While you might have one person in the band who's nominated to edit and mix your tracks, the rest of your group should still learn how to edit and mix tracks. With these skills, your group knows that there's always someone else to help out with song edits if required
- Sound engineering: Sound engineering is the process of recording live musical performances and turning them into useful audio that can be used to create an amazing song. If your band wants to record its music and create songs that can be shared online, then your band members need to understand the basics of audio engineering
- Basic musical theory: Music theory has practical applications, so even if your fellow band members don't have a formal music education, you should help them to learn about music theory and basic concepts such as form, harmony, rhythm, tonal systems, scales, tuning and more
- Improvisation: With a strong understanding of basic musical theory, your fellow band members can improvise and create great melodies and songs on the fly. Musicians also need to practice playing around with sound to improvise successfully, so you should help your ensemble to improvise by allowing them time during band rehearsals to improvise and practice compiling unique tunes quickly
Whilst you don't need a band full of experts, it's beneficial for every member to understand the basics. If a member of your ensemble already has some of these skills, they could share them with the rest - this will save money on music courses and help you to bond as a band.
Ready To Get Started? Use PIRATE's Services To Make The Most Of Your Band Rehearsal Time
Once you understand how band rehearsal techniques like the ones mentioned above could benefit your group, you're ready to begin making the most out of your rehearsals.
You'll need to collaborate with your bandmates to devise band rehearsal strategies that suit you all and help you to achieve your collective musical goals.
Your band rehearsal strategy doesn't have to be set in stone, you can adapt it as your band evolves and achieves greater success.
To adapt your strategy, you'll need to stay ahead of the latest ideas in band rehearsal techniques to find inspiration for new ways to use your band's time as wisely as possible.
If you're looking for more information on rehearsal strategies and want to improve your musical skills, then you should consider checking out our regularly updated blog. There you'll find a wide range of articles to benefit musicians and help you develop your skills.
If you're looking for more information on how Pirate and our range of global facilities can help you and your band, then check out our worldwide locations and book your space online.